An Analysis of The Alpha Strike
Created by Shadow Panther
Posted: 03-27-2003 10:09 AM
Q: What is an Alpha Strike?
A: It is a manuever where a Mech quickly fires all of its weapons in
succession, dealing maximum damage in the shortest possible time. In
MechAssault, this is achieved by holding down the firing trigger while
rapidly hitting the trigger that cycles through your weapons.
When playing MechAssault, the object of the game is to destroy other
Mechs. In individual play, you are scored based on the number of kills
you make. If you whittle away at a Mech until it is almost dead but
then someone comes along and "steals your kill", you are out of luck.
To score the most kills possible, you want to make sure that you are
always getting in the final shot. Using a Mech with an effective Alpha
Strike can help you secure those kills.
Some Mechs are better at Alpha Strikes than others. Heat management
plays a big part in this, but weapon configurations are also important
to consider. Certain weapons, like PPCs and Warhammers, can only be
used as the starting weapon in an Alpha Strike, because they have
charges/timers. This makes them worthless when trying to fire multiple
Alpha Strikes. Other weapons, like Machine Guns and Pulse Lasers, can
be used in continuous Alpha Strikes, but they contribute very little
damage per shot.
Mechs with the best Alphas Strikes would be those that have
non-charging weapons that deal significant damage each time they are
fired. Weapons that are ideal for Alpha Strikes would be Lasers,
Autocannons, Gauss Rifles, Crossbow Missiles, Javelin Missiles, and
Some Mechs can fire more damaging Alpha Strike combos than others. The
Mech with the most powerful Alpha Strike is the Ymir. As long as you
are sufficiently cooled down, and have charged up its PPCs, this Mech
can unleash all three weapons for 2,500+ points of damage (depending
upon weapon levels.) However, the charging mechanism of the PPCs
prevent the Ymir from quickly following up with additional Alpha
Strikes. Not only that, but the large amount of heat generated by these
weapons, coupled with the Ymir's horrible Cooldown Rate,
make Alpha Strikes difficult to perform with any regularity. For these
reasons, the Ymir can't really be considered an "Alpha Strike Mech."
The most effective Alpha Strike Mech would probably be the Ragnarok.
When comparing the Ragnarok's Alpha Strike potential to that of the
Ymir, the Rag has the clear advantage. A Ragnarok does not have to
charge its weapons, which allows them to be fired continuously until
the Rag overheats. Each of the Ragnarok's Alpha Strikes deals 2,300 -
2,900 points of damage, which is only slightly less than that of the
Ymir. Other Mechs with powerful Alpha Strikes combos include the Atlas
and Timber Wolf.
Some Mechs rely less on the power of their Alpha Strikes, but rather
focus more on the frequency of attacks. If you overheat within seconds,
then you can't keep performing Alpha Strikes. Many of the lighter
"Chicken Mechs" have the ability to rapidly fire multiple Alpha Strikes
at their enemies before they overheat. However, their Alpha Strike
combos deal less damage due to having weaker weapons. When you want to
score that all-important killing blow, a quick burst of intense damage
is most effective.
Listed below are the minimum and maximum Alpha Strike damage values for
each Mech (minimum when all weapons are at Level 1, maximum when
they're at Level 3.)
*Mad Cat: 1042/1743
Timber Wolf: 631/1098
*Kit Fox: 444/766
Mad Dog: 301/515
*Mechs that cannot continuously fire Alpha Stikes due to having PPCs or Warhammers.